Posted: December 29, 2016 in Book Reviews


Hellhole Awakening

By Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson

631 pages

Its been a while since I read and reviewed the first book in this series Hellhole. As I recall I did not give this first book a very good rating. Perhaps that is why it has taken me over 2 years to get to the second book in this series as a whole.

Hellhole is awakening. The planet is coming back to life from its long slumber and mysterious ships are appearing the skies planting life and animals back on this devastated world. The mystery of these visitors and what they are doing is only hinted at. Why are they doing this and who are they has yet to be revealed. But first

As established in the first book of this series, General Adolphus has declared independence from the constellation. The Diadem and the constellation are sending Adolphus’s arch nemesis, the Hallholmes against him with a fleet of war ships that out man, out gun and can easily over power the defenses of the deep zone.

More and more people have joined the shadow Xayan community by immersing themselves in the slickwater. Through the combined human alien hybrids they have begun to develop their telepathic powers which prove useful as a psychic weapon against the Constellations fleet. However the Constellation is not the only threat, it seems the Xayan’s have their enemies as well which may very well prove to be far more dangerous that anything humanity has ever encountered before.

The last review got a bad rating because the elements of the story did not seem to have any relevance the what was going on. I do think that perhaps while that criticism was well deserved this book has helped to shed much light on the importance of those elements. At least with respect to the Xayan’s. Keana’s role still seems to be not that important to the overall story arc but perhaps will become more apparent in the 3rd volume Hellhole Inferno.

The further developing of the psychic powers of the Shadow Xayan’s is, for me at least, one of my favorite aspects of this story. The introduction of new information regarding the factions of the Xayan species will serve to be a key player in the up coming volume. This seems to be evident in the Constellation defeat but leaving the world of Candellla in ruins, not from a human, but a Xayan war.

This volume really has helped me see how the different aspects of the story, which originally seemed to be virtually useless part of the story, are now coming together as an even bigger plot line than the original deep zone vs Crown Jewel war. General Adolphus’s challenges it seems are just getting started. The Xayan’s have helped the General defeat the Constellation and in return he must help them achieve their races goal of Alaru, the next step in the species evolution. With the Xayan’s enemies posing a threat the General may have gotten himself in to a war he cannot win.

Considering the problems with the last book this book is a huge improvement upon the first volume. The links are all coming together and the story is starting to make much more sense now. I am looking forward to reading the final volume to see just how this will play out and if Alaru is accomplished and reached.

While the last book got a 3/10 bookworms, this one is getting a much better rating and I will bump it up to 5/10 book worms. We shall see if the last one in the series breaks the 5 mark or not.

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